Nissan may build the Renault Kadjar and Captur SUVs at its plant in Sunderland, England, the Financial Times reported, citing sources close to the discussions between the alliance partners.
The plant has the capacity to produce the SUVs because they share the same underpinnings as the Nissan Qashqai and Juke, which are built in Sunderland.
The move would be part of an exchange of vehicle production between the two automakers, the Financial Times said.
Under the changes being discussed, Nissan would close its Barcelona plant that builds vans and pickups, according to the paper. Production of the Navara pickup would move to South Africa, while a replacement for the electric e-NV200 van would be built at Renault’s plant in Maubeuge, France.
Nissan intends to close the Barcelona factory as part of plans to reduce its global capacity by 20 percent, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Thursday. A Nissan Spain spokesman said union leaders at the plant will informed about the factory’s future before summer.
The production shift could secure the long-term future of the Sunderland plant, Britain’s largest car factory. Its viability has been threatened by the UK’s exit from the European Union. If tariffs are imposed between the UK and mainland Europe, the factory’s output could become uneconomic.
A Nissan spokesman said the company does not comment on “rumors or speculation.” Renault did not respond to a request for comment.
Nissan is planning $2.8 billion in cost cuts and the scrapping of its Datsun brand as part of a three-year turnaround plan that will be unveiled on May 28, Bloomberg reported earlier this week.